Madinat al-Muslimeen Islamic Message Board
|how the west was won and lost|
|11/14/01 at 07:01:47|
How the West was Lost?
President Bush’s ‘wanted Dead or Alive’ call evoked memories of how the ‘West was Won’ by a brutish and arrogant people. The native Indian civilisation was wiped out. Could it be that the West will be lost due to this continuing brutish and arrogant behaviour?
The origin of a state’s strength is not from its economic or military power, but rather from its ideology, its reason for being. It is from this basis the civilisation grows and flourishes. If it is correct, it gives rise to a strong and confident nation. The nation lives and grows by this ideology due to its correctness and its practicality.
What is of concern to some is the long-term implication of America’s action in Afghanistan. This may well be the beginning of the end for the supremacy of the Western civilisation, if a viable alternative world order comes into being that is truly universal. This is not as crazy as it might sound.
Although western civilisation has been able to provide a decent standard of living for most of its people and technological progress, in the process it has created extreme poverty and great instability in large parts of the world. Capitalism has proven to be impractical at a global level. The worry in the West is that Islam claims to provide an alternative, not the Taliban variety but the old Caliphate model.
America’s latest outing has brought her intellectual foundations into question. Are they universally practical?
Self-determination is portrayed as a universal right. But time and time again American and European governments are nervous about its application in the non-Western world. The West is unwilling to extend this right to the Afghani people and will feel safe only if they install a government in Afghanistan; the people are not to be trusted. Of course this is not the first time. France was guilty of stalling the Algerian elections in ‘91. Not only that but America befriends dictators and despots like President Musharraf of Pakistan, King Fahd and Mubaruk of Egypt. So what are we to make of this principle? Is the non-Western world too uncivilised to be trusted with such an ideal or is it impractical, in the sense that its application is detrimental to the American world leadership?
The idea of universal human rights too has lost credibility. It is the West who decides what are and what are not human rights? It is the west who decides who should and should not be punished? It seems there is no universality about this term. Islam Karimov the President of Uzbekistan is arresting thousands of Muslims who non-violently oppose his rule, torturing them in his prisons, yet we find no sanctions in place on Uzbekistan. On the contrary, he is an ally! The Arab monarchies and Israel are leaders in oppression and suppression of rights, but the West remains either unconcerned or selective in its policing of this policy.
What is more objectionable in the Muslim world is the purported universality of ‘human rights’. Why is it that we say that homosexuals have human rights, and man has a right to be promiscuous, but a single man cannot have two wives, even if all of three consent to it. Why is that not a human right? Has this idea any reality in its own right? Or can it only be defined in terms of culture? The answer seems to be the later.
Much has already been written on terrorism. The often used phrase ‘One man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter’ is a tired phrase, but holds true. In short, terrorism is defined in terms of political aims. Yesterday’s fighters of Afghanistan were ‘freedom fighters’, whom ITN’s Allistar Burnett would share a cup of tea with. Today these very same people are dangerous terrorists. The only difference is that they are in the way of western interests in that region, namely the easy access to oil in the Central Asian Republics. So America’s fight against terrorism is not the same as Pakistan’s fight against terrorism or even India’s. It’s purely a political definition. America would not consider itself a terrorist state, but the native Indians and the citizens of Central America will definitely have a different take on that.
Civil liberties: This scared cow too is being questioned by politicians. To what extent can we have liberties and freedom? There has been talk of ID cards in Britain. The problem here lies in the relative definition of the word that brings uncertainty. Civil liberties were unable to protect the American Japanese in the U.S. post Pearl Harbour. Neither were communists any safer in liberal America, when ‘Reds in the Beds’ were pursued and imprisoned.
Many have written about the hypocritical stance of the West, John Pilger and Tony Benn are two such outspoken personalities, however, the problem lies not in the actions of Western governments, but in its intellectual foundation. The days of colonial Europe when freedom and liberties and self-determination were granted to its own citizens, but not tolerated in the colonised lands continue to exist in today’s neo-colonial world. What this whole episode has brought into question is, are the values upon which the west has been built, practical for the whole world to live by? The answer from America seems to be an emphatic no.
It seems that America’s unrestrained quest for global hegemony has awoken the ‘natives’. It is of no surprise that American hatred has increased in the Muslim world. The first victims will be the weak regimes propped up the west in the Muslim world. They will be the first. Then America may have to face the re-emergence of the Caliphate. Based on Islam, the universal, comprehensive and true ideology for universe, man and life the Khilafah is the only alternative that can bring, as it did before, fairness and stability that Capitalism failed to do.
World Affairs Correspondent
12 November, 2001
Source: Kcom Journal
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